Quentin Tarantino’s Friday The 13th That Almost Was

One of the most forgotten footnotes in Friday the 13th history is one that would fail to take the series in a high-profile direction but would indirectly provide a platform for the 2009 reboot to actually happen. After the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie stalled, New Line felt there was nowhere else to go with Jason in-house so decided a drastic measure would be needed to put Friday the 13th in marquee lights again. This attempt to take the franchise upmarket would involve one of the most famous directors of our time.

In 2005 Quentin Tarantino was approached about writing and directing the project and by March 7 the Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction creator was reportedly in final negotiations to sign on for what was going under the working title of Ultimate Jason Voorhees Movie. The title was very likely a nod to the line of Marvel Comics that included Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men which took brand names that had fallen under the weight of several decades of continuity and repacked them with a clean slate, modern spin and top creators guiding them. That certainly seemed to be the case of Ultimate Jason Voorhees Movie in attracting the man behind the violent Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2.

The film was going to be a made under a partnership between New Line and Paramount Pictures and it was expected to be in production by the end of 2005 at the earliest. That would definitely be an accelerated or rushed schedule, as New Line were keen on getting this happening very quickly and moderately cheap in spite of the fact that Tarantino’s writing process takes years, the man does not do “quickies” and his home was with Miramax. Still, QT was reportedly intrigued by the notion of putting his own stamp on the Jason character and a meeting with New Line was scheduled later in the week.

IGN had broken the news initially, even obtaining comment from Tarantino’s agents who did not refute the report but simply stated he had “not yet” been offered the job, and both Variety and Hollywood Reporter jumped on the story, independently verifying the project and obtaining additional details plus further word from his agents about the usual long amount of time between his projects, thusly hinting that New Line’s plans for a time-sensitive shoot weren’t going to get far with QT. By the end of the week after the meeting with New Line, the man himself spoke out to Empire UK:

“What’s happening with FRIDAY THE 13TH? Nothing at all! It’s a complete lie. I like Jason and everything, but I’ve no intention of directing a movie! New Line talked to me about it, but it was a complete fabrication, that article. I would love to do a horror film. I’m just saying it’s not going to be FRIDAY THE 13TH…”

The online media, confident in their sources, were quick to retort against QT’s very direct disclaimer. Bloody Disgusting, who claimed to have inside track publicly called bullshit on his comments. The original reporter, IGN, claimed they could not provide additional detail in order to protect their sources who were loosely connected to the project. The denial was strange because the major point that was being reported is one he confirmed himself within the denial – that he had spoken to New Line about it. It was just the finer details he seemed to be arguing with. Interestingly, the offer must have made an impression on Tarantino because after this he went ahead and made a movie in the same subgenre, but with Dimension Films: 2007′s subversive slasher Death Proof.

The subtext of the sorry affair seemed to be that New Line might have intentionally leaked Tarantino’s name during the negotiations because they knew they couldn’t get him on board so wanted the heat his name would bring to the dead franchise. Or perhaps it was because Tarantino had recently guest directed an episode of CSI (that would later air in May) that New Line thought felt they had a shot at nabbing him as a ‘hired gun’. There’s no denying the temporary name association provided a bump in Friday the 13th media coverage, and it’s telling that soon after, New Line and Paramount kept the partnership they had created for Ultimate Jason Voorhees Movie and pushed forth on script development for the Platinum Dunes reboot that would eventually come to fruition in 2009!

Grindhouse Presents, Death Proof - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan
Rating: Unrated

List Price: $12.97 USD
New From: $5.91 In Stock
Used from: $1.60 In Stock
Release date September 18, 2007.
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6 Responses to “ Quentin Tarantino’s Friday The 13th That Almost Was ”

  1. I don’t care what anybody say’s,the thing that really hurt most of the F13 movies were the damn film makers constantly going in the wrong direction. I personaly would rather eat shit than to see a Tarantino made F13 movie, but at that point where the Hell could you have gone with a franchise overdone and destroyed? HEY! I don’t hate the later movie’s, but when I read on here that alot of people say they don’t like the reboot or part’s 5,6,7,8,(and so forth) it don’t surprise me that some people sort of feel the same way.-SHIT

  2. To have Tarantino make a Friday film would be an honor. The man is know for resurrecting careers, and at that point Jason was looking like a has-been. The Friday films were big studio versions of grind-house films. Thats what arantino s up to these days, it would be a good project to have happend.

  3. Damn New Line! They have to screw everything up!

  4. @[email protected] just to think where the series would be right now had this actually happened. Sequels directed by other upscale names like Guillermo del Toro? Darren Aronofsky? Such an injection of the franchise into the upper mainstream seems startling since all we’ve ever known is for the series to be in the comparative gutter.

  5. I disagree with the comment about Jason being or looking like a has-been. I think there will always be an audience that remembers and loves Jason, and while at this time, I am not a fan of the remake, I am glad it breathed life into the Friday the 13th series again, although I’ll personally always been loyal to classic Jason.

    Anyhow, people would have probably been expecting the greatest and scariest horror film ever if QT made it, and I doubt QT could do much with it that has not already been done, so I think the right choice was made by all sides.

  6. Its time to film a final chapter 12 jason come back the basic crystal lake!!

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